1. Why is the United Nations important to the world?
We live in a troubled world, and there has to be a forum for discussion and negotiation to resolve conflict, and the UN is absolutely the only institution with that standing. The world needs a forum; it’s the UN. If you don’t have that forum or don’t use it, you have nowhere to begin the process of resolution.
2. How does the UN affect your work or your life?
Like most UNA-USA members, the association has affected my life because I chose for it to by volunteering. When UNA-USA and the Business Council of the UN were separate entities, I had the pleasure of working with John Whitehead and Dick Voehl to bring the two important organizations together. I was able to act as a catalyst for our work going forward after merging, stayed involved, and eventually had the pleasure of being the chair of UNA-USA. We accomplished great things during that time.
3. Why should Americans care about the UN’s work?
The U.S. isn’t an island unto itself. We are affected by what goes on internationally. If the U.S. wants to participate in securing peace around the world it needs to be invested in the UN’s success. We need look no further than what happened with the League of Nations, when the U.S. was not invested.
4. In your opinion, what has been the UN’s best moment to date?
I don’t feel I can pin the many years of the UN’s good work down to one item. The UN doesn’t succeed in every issue it confronts, but if you look at history, the UN has been the pipelines for helping human beings remain healthy and safe. The institution has done hundreds of things from cooling tensions in the world’s most contentious areas to delivering critical aid to those who do not have access to it. This pipeline is indispensable.
5. What do you think is the most exciting opportunity for the UN moving forward?
I look at it as a need more than an opportunity. The UN has a need to reduce conflict and have compassion for those less fortunate. If it weren’t for the UN, there would be no mechanism for delivering relief from those countries that are relatively well-off to those that are less fortunate.
6. What is the most effective element of UNA-USA’s work?
One of the most important elements of UNA-USA’s mission is to broaden its communications and education efforts to reach new audiences in the U.S. and let them know why the UN is important. Through Chapters and other methods to we educate Americans who are living in an era where there is an incredible amount of information being disseminated. If UNA-USA wasn’t there as a megaphone, most Americans wouldn’t know a lot about the UN. I think being this megaphone to youth, especially on college campuses, is going to be increasingly important for us moving forward.